Karin Freeland

Speaker ~ Author ~ Life Coach

Karin Freeland

Life Coach ~ Speaker ~ Author

How To Banish Burnout In 5 Steps – Part One

In part one of this blog post series, learn how to effectively banish burnout, including the symptoms of burnout and a burnout self-assessment.

Hey there, Superwoman! Yes, you, with the to-do list that rivals the endless scroll of social media feeds and a calendar so packed it makes a Tetris champion sweat. Before you dive headfirst into conquering the world (or at least your inbox) today, let’s chat! 


You’re here because something feels off deep down amidst the hustle and relentless drive for success. 


You’re tired but wired, proud but doubting, achieving but somehow… empty?


Welcome to the club no one wants to admit they’ve joined: the Burnout Brigade. 


But fear not because this isn’t another doom-and-gloom sermon about the perils of hard work. Oh no, I’m here to sprinkle a little wit, a dash of tough love, and a hefty dose of inspiration into your day.


By the end of this blog post – I will show you how to banish burnout in 5 steps. 


Let’s jump right in by first addressing the elephant in the room – what exactly is burnout, and why does it seem to have a VIP pass in our lives?

What Is Burnout? (My Honest Take!)

If you’re a self-proclaimed Google doctor like me, you may have already stumbled across this article from WebMD, which explains that burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. 


Yikes… this sounds bad, doesn’t it? But what if this doesn’t sound like what you’ve been experiencing? While that is a good generic way to define burnout, it’s just way too broad. 


The problem with burnout is it can manifest in many different ways. (And I do mean many!)  


For some women, it can feel like mental claustrophobia – the feeling you get when you’ve got so much going on in your mind that it induces the panic response often associated with claustrophobia – aka – how do I escape?!


For other women, it’s waking up tired no matter how much sleep you get, dragging yourself through the day fueled by coffee and sheer willpower, only to collapse on the couch every evening. 


And then there are those for whom burnout morphs into a shadow of doubt that clouds every decision, making the simplest choices feel like Herculean tasks. It’s the persistent whisper that you’re not doing enough, even when pushing yourself to the limit.


Burnout can also: 

  • Dull the passions that once drove you. 
  • Breed isolation. 
  • Trigger a sense of perpetual inadequacy. 
  • And so much more! 

So, yes, while burnout can be clinically described as a state of exhaustion due to stress, it’s so much more complex and personal than that! It’s the sum of countless unspoken struggles, silent battles fought daily, and the weight of expectations that feels too heavy to bear.


My honest take? Burnout is not just a buzzword or a phase; it’s a signal from your body and mind that something fundamentally needs to change.

Burnout making you feel worried, confused, and isolated from others.

What Are The Signs of Burnout

So, you’re used to checking boxes and achieving milestones, but have you ever considered if you’re ticking off the signs of burnout? Let’s break it down into categories so you can do a quick self-assessment!

Physical Symptoms:

  • Chronic fatigue or feeling tired despite rest.
  • Insomnia or disrupted sleep patterns.
  • Frequent headaches or muscle pain.
  • Changes in appetite or eating habits.
  • Increased susceptibility to illnesses.

Emotional Symptoms:

  • Sense of failure and self-doubt.
  • Feeling helpless, trapped, and defeated.
  • Detachment, feeling alone in the world.
  • Loss of motivation.
  • Increasingly cynical and negative outlook.
  • Decreased satisfaction and sense of accomplishment.

Behavioral Symptoms:

  • Withdrawing from responsibilities.
  • Isolating yourself from others.
  • Procrastinating, taking longer to get things done.
  • Using food, drugs, or alcohol to cope.
  • Taking out frustrations on others.
  • Skipping work or coming in late and leaving early.

Cognitive Symptoms:

  • Difficulty concentrating and paying attention.
  • Constant worry.
  • Forgetfulness and disorganization.
  • Inability to make decisions or indecisiveness.
  • Negative or self-critical thoughts.

Psychological Symptoms:

  • Anxiety or panic attacks.
  • Depression or general unhappiness.
  • Irritability or excessive anger.
  • Feeling overwhelmed by emotions.
  • Sense of emptiness or lack of purpose.

Social Symptoms:

  • Avoiding social interactions.
  • Neglecting personal and professional relationships.
  • Feeling misunderstood or unappreciated.
  • Difficulty being present or engaged during social activities.
Isolation, boredom, and procrastination are all a part of burnout.


If your body and mind were sending you emails, these symptoms would be the urgent ones marked with a red flag! 


It’s time to tune in and listen to what they’re desperately trying to tell you! 


Ignoring these alerts can lead to a system shutdown, and let’s face it – you’re not the type to let that happen without a fight. Acknowledge these signals as a call to action—a reminder that your health and happiness are worth prioritizing! 

The Different Stages Of Burnout

Okay, so now you’ve confirmed that what you’re experiencing is, in fact, burnout, and you’re ready to take action. Now what?

Burnout, much like your favorite binge-worthy TV series, unfolds in stages. But unlike those cliffhangers that keep you clicking “Next Episode,” the stages of burnout are ones you’ll want to exit, stat. 

Let’s break down this not-so-glamorous journey so you can pinpoint where you are and plot your escape route.

Stage #1 - Persistent Exhaustion 

 Imagine your energy as a smartphone battery that just won’t stay charged, no matter how often you plug it in. 

Persistent exhaustion is the low battery alert of burnout. 

It’s not just about feeling tired; it’s a profound, bone-weary fatigue that isn’t cured by a good night’s sleep. You’re running on empty, with every task feeling like you’re trying to sprint through quicksand.

This is what I often refer to as the first stage of burnout.

Now, for some people, they will move into the second stage if the burnout is not adequately addressed. For others, they just become perpetually stuck in this stage. 

Either way, you’ll want to find the next exit ramp stat! 

Stage #2 - Cynicism & Detachment

Now, picture your favorite coffee mug. At first, it’s filled to the brim with your passion and enthusiasm for your job. But as cynicism sets in, it’s like a slow leak in the mug. 


You start questioning whether what you do matters, and detachment creeps in. You’re no longer emotionally invested in your work or the people around you. Your mug is empty, and so is your desire to refill it.


In this example, I am talking about work. But the harsh reality of burnout is that it can seep into other areas of your life, like hobbies, responsibilities with family and friends, etc. 


Trust me – you can love your family to pieces and still become detached and cynical of it all.

Stage #3 - Habitual Burnout

This is the finale of burnout, where exhaustion and cynicism have become so ingrained that they feel like part of your personality. 

It’s like wearing a heavy coat that you can’t take off. You’re used to the weight, but it drags you down in everything you do. 

Habitual burnout is when “I’m tired” becomes “This is just who I am now.”

Here’s the good news you can take away from this blog post – burnout is not a life sentence! With the right strategies, you can break free from its grasp and rediscover the joy, passion, and enthusiasm in every facet of your life.

In part two of this series, I am going to show you how you can banish burnout in 5 steps! 

And don’t worry – as a fellow high-achieving mom who did the corporate grind for years, I know how hard it can be to implement anything new in your life. I remember thinking I would drop all the plates I was spinning if I added one more thing. 

Don’t worry – I won’t let you drop your plates! 

That’s why I will also share some really tangible ideas you can deploy in your life right now! 

To read part two, go here! 

Want To Learn About This From Me? FREE Masterclass Available Now!

Don’t get me wrong – this blog post is fantastic and filled with so much practical advice and insights! But I know when you’re reading, it can feel like mission-impossible to absorb it all! 

The truth is we learn SO much better from an actual human rather than some words on a page because you get the emotion, excitement, and encouragement you need right now! 

That’s why I invite you to watch my masterclass – Banish Burnout! To get access, all you’ve got to do is fill in your first name and email address below, and I’ll send that straight over to your inbox! 


Are you ready to

Ditch the

Golden Handcuffs

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Grab Life by the Dreams will help you get unstuck, discover your true purpose, and create an actionable plan to achieve it. One that even the toughest inner critics can get behind.

If you love self-help books, this is for you. You’re one step away from finding the fulfillment you deserve.